Preacher’s Kid: Honest Faith, Real World

Preacher’s Kid: Honest Faith, Real World

Mitt Romney ‘isn’t-a-Christian’? Betcha Jesus loves him, Rev. Jeffress

Jeffress: Romney 'good, moral' - but no Christian

A Southern Baptist pastor is catching a lot of heat for daring to say what so many fundamentalist Christians will say among themselves, if not on a nationally-televised platform: that they believe Mormonism to be a “non-Christian cult.”

Specifically, the Rev. Robert Jeffress, speaking to the Values Voters Summit of Christian Conservatives last Friday, praised Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney as a “good, moral man” was was unwavering is judging him to be, within the framework of a “born again” Christianity, well, not a Christian.


Well, Mitt, join the club.

As the son of a Pentecostal minister, I grew up hearing my Southern Baptist brothers and sisters (at least I considered them to be spiritual siblings) reject “holy rollers” and anything tied to “charismatic” worship and/or speaking in tongues as “of the devil,” and on occasion even condemning anyone associated with the practice to be satanically deluded if not actually possessed.

In other words, a non-Christian cult.

Although I’ve not heard that from Southern Baptists for some years now, at least with such vitriol, doctrinally at least, they still look rather suspiciously at such denominations as the Assemblies of God.


Oh, and by the way, Pastor Jefress, in laying claim for the Southern Baptists as being the world’s largest Protestant denomination, may be chagrined to learn he’s wrong about that, too.

There are 250 million adherents within the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement worldwide, 60 million of them within the aforementioned Assemblies of God fellowship. Throw in all flavors of Baptist denominations globally, and you get 100 million – but the Southern Baptist Convention, by its own reports, comes in at 16.3 million.

Lutherans, Methodists and the family of “Reformed” Christian churches each account for 75 million of the world’s Protestants. Meanwhile, 1.2 billion flavors of Catholics account for the other half of Christendom.


And what of the faith embraced by Mitt Romney and fellow GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently topped 14 million members, worldwide.

Fundamentalist Christians, and in this particular case Southern Baptists, dismiss Mormons as a “cult” due to a variety of doctrinal differences, but primarily because (a) they don’t accept the traditional (Nicaean) concept of the “Trinity”; (b) believe humans have the capacity, however unlikely, to someday obtain “godhood” of their own; and (c) have an extra set of scriptures (the Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price).


Well, OK. I don’t happen to accept those extra-biblical works as my scripture. But there are plenty of other examples of various Christian sects with commentaries, revelations, interpretations, etc., that can be argued to be (and are so debated) as “extra-biblical.”

If my upbringing as a preacher’s kid and my subsequent years of just living have shown me anything, it is this: no one has managed to grab the Truth with both hands when it comes to peeling away the layers of the Mind of God. All Christian expressions can be, arguably, accused of taking scriptures out of context to gird their particular doctrinal tastes.

In the beginning of this faith, it was not so difficult to know who was a “Christian.” Denominations, doctrines, creeds and arguments over whether the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were three distinct, separate personages, or whether they were aspects of the same singular (and beyond our comprehension) Supreme Being, did not matter.


Or, they did not matter nearly as much as being followers of Christ whose simple faith in the risen Lord was reflected primarily in how they lived with each other, and within a cruel, hurting world.

I’ve met a lot of people who qualify as “Christian” by those standards. Catholics. Orthodox. Methodists, Anglicans, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Pentecostals, Quakers, Amish, Mennonites, Adventists, Mormons, and yes, Southern Baptists, too.


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David Politis

posted October 11, 2011 at 6:19 pm

The following was posted by me earlier today on Facebook.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Since Friday, October 7, 2011, I have watched with morbid curiosity as the political pundits and journalists have examined and expounded upon the statements of Pastor Robert Jeffress in proclaiming the Mormon Church to be a cult. (See to see part of Pastor Jeffress’ comments and his interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on this subject.)

After watching the above-noted video, I decided I could no longer remain silent in light of Pastor Jeffress’ comments about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the Mormon Church). Here then is my response.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Dear Pastor Jeffress:

I almost don’t know where to start in this letter to you. However, let me begin by first thanking my friend, Jesse, for making me aware of your interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

Secondly, I’d like to begin with a question. When (during your interview with Anderson Cooper) you use the term Historical Christians, are you referring to Jews who became followers of Christ or Gentiles who became Christians? Because to me, the most important Historical Christians were those who personally knew Christ or who lived on the earth shortly after his ministry.

Either way, I’m curious if you also follow the Mosaic Law, and if not, why not? The earliest Historical Christians did. In fact, the earliest Gentile followers of Jesus Christ were required to become Jewish converts too, including circumcision, participating in the various holidays & feasts, not eating pork, etc. (Please re-read the Book of Acts and the Book of Romans for reference.)

In fact, it wasn’t until after NEW revelation was received by the leaders of “the Church” that the gospel was even preached to the Gentiles or Gentiles were allowed to be baptized. And even then, it wasn’t until AFTER even more NEW revelation was received and approved by the Apostles that the Gentiles were no longer forced to becoming practicing Jews in order to be considered part of the Church of Christ. In fact, God has never required new action by His followers without first revealing His word through His chosen Prophets or through His Son. (See Amos 3:8 or

So . . . since Jesus was no longer living on the earth and He had given His chosen and ordained Apostles the charge to go throughout the world preaching and baptizing, what are we supposed to think about the Apostles’ decision to take the gospel to the Gentiles? Because clearly this is NOT something Jesus did.

Clearly there was NEW revelation after the death & resurrection of Jesus given through the organized Church He established and through the men that He empowered to lead and direct His Church and gave authority to baptize, heal the sick and infirm, and even to raise the dead. Correct?

So what happened between roughly 200 A.D. and May 1845, Pastor Jeffress? Was that when the Catholic Church gave permission and authority to begin a new off-shoot religion known as the Southern Baptist Church? No, of course not.

The Southern Baptist Church (SBC) traces its roots back to a break-up with the Baptist churches in the northern part of the United States because of disagreements over slavery. (See Conversely, the Baptist faith in North America goes back to the beginning of the earliest European establishments in the New World when dissenting Christians came to America because they were being persecuted in the United Kingdom for not following the established tenets of the Church of England. In other words, the earliest Baptists established their own church — a church established by man and NOT by revelation.

So what about the Church of England? Was it established by revelation? Uhhhh, no.

The King of England (Henry VIII) wanted an annulment, which was forbidden by the Catholic Church. So what did he do? The King of England established his own church by breaking away from the Catholic Church. Did the Pope give the King of England the power and authority to do so? Don’t be absurd; of course not.

So in other words, the Southern Baptist Church was formed by men/women who broke away from their Northern Baptist brothers & sisters, who in turn got their start when they broke away from the Church of England (or Anglican Church), which in turn got its start when the King of England got mad with the Catholic Church because he couldn’t divorce the Queen and marry someone else. Really?

And you claim to be a Historical Christian. Uhhhh, I don’t think so.

At the end of the day, Pastor Jeffress, you are a bigot, plain and simple.

By your own admission you do not believe that anyone is qualified to be the President of the United States of America unless they profess to be an “Evangelical Christian.”

So please show me in the Bible where Jesus Christ explains that His followers need to be “evangelical.” (Any version of the Bible will do.) Better yet, please show me anywhere in the Bible where the definition of Evangelical is given so I can check my own beliefs and actions to ensure that I am following the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Never mind, I’ll save you the trouble Pastor Jeffress, BECAUSE IT’S NOT IN THE BIBLE. But you already knew that, didn’t you?

Please stop making up religious teachings and beliefs to suit your own distorted and bigoted view of the world and passing them off as the teachings of Jesus Christ, because they are NOT His teachings. At a minimum, we who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claim that our Church was founded by revelation and under the direction of Jesus Christ Himself.

In closing, my apologies to my friends or to anyone who is, or who considers themselves, an “Evangelical Christian” or a “Historical Christian.” It was not my intent to offend you in anyway, and if I did, I apologize and ask for your forgiveness.

As for you, Pastor Jeffress, I’m not sure what else to write to you beyond what I have written above beyond this. Perhaps you should re-read the words of Jesus, the New Testament and the Old Testament, but this time, to do it with new eyes and not with preconceived notions.


David Politis,
A Christian and a Mormon

P.S. One more thought. I accept and welcome all good people everywhere, regardless of faith, belief or lack thereof. Do I have differences of opinion about religion with many of my friends and acquaintances, some of whom do not believe in the need for religion, faith or spirituality? Of course. But our friendships and relationships remain nonetheless. Just another thought. dlp

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